The City of Austin wants everyone to take 10 minutes to learn hands-only CPR.
Each year, about 600 people in Austin and Travis County experience cardiac arrest and are treated by EMS. When bystanders perform CPR, survival rates can double or even triple.
Hillary Funk is the Community Integration Coordinator with Austin-Travis County EMS. She says some people are hesitant to perform mouth-to-mouth.
“And so we’ve seen that this compression-only CPR is really easy: easy to do and easy to remember. And is more likely for people to do it," said Funk.
Unlike many departments across the country, dispatchers at Austin-Travis County EMS are trained in medical treatment and will stay on the phone with callers to talk them through compression-only CPR.
Dispatchers at the department have learned how to communicate with callers to make sure that they start the life-saving action quickly.
“We don’t even use the word unconscious. If they’re not awake and if they’re not breathing effectively, then we don’t even check for a pulse, we go straight to compressions. And so it saves a few seconds and those seconds are better served doing compressions," said Warren Hassinger, Public Information Officer for Austin-Travis County EMS.
You can click here to watch an instructional video on hands-only CPR.